Saturday, January 28, 2012

Digital Learning Day Linky Party

Visit Teaching is My Calling to link up! 

              Digital Learning Day is February 1, 2012! This is nationwide celebration that encourages student engagement and personalized education through the use of technology and digital media. It is a day to try something new and/or highlight successes. This linky party is to do just that! Share your favorite technology blog, blog post, or lesson plan. Let us know your Digital Learning Day plans. I'm looking forward to learning many new things!

        February 1, 2012, is Digital Learning Day. It is a nationwide celebration to encourage student engagement and personalized education through the use of technology and digital media. Share your favorite technology post, or gather great ideas to help your students celebrate Digital Learning Day!

       Now to my post. My students enjoy technology and digital learning. In our classroom we use many different sites in our classroom. 

  1.  A great website with links to interactive lessons, Power Points, web quests and much more for grades K-12. 
  2.  Digital learning for middle and high school students
  3.  Great vocabulary builder and helps the needy at the same time. 
  4. Great information about a Flipped classroom
  5. Great paid-site for videos, games, and printables for different subjects and grades.
  6.  Great   for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. 
  7. Great site for science learning
  8. Site for creating all different types of graphs
  9. A site for creating  rubrics for the classroom

I hope you enjoy the sites


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Test Prep Linky Party!

Link up & join the Test Prep Linky Party
hosted by

        I do my best to make test prep as fun as possible. I do some of the following activities to practice: 

  • TCAP (That's our test) Prep musical chairs with a twist. Using the smart board I have TCAP similar questions. Student walk around the chairs as the music plays. When the music stops the person standing must answer a question. If they answer the question, they can steal someones seat and they must answer a question, it goes on until someone is out. The students love it! 
  • Power Point games: I make many different review games with the templates and Jefferson County School Board Website
  • Bell Review: This game needs an open space. Students send a person from their team to answer the question. The two students stand at their start line and when I finish the question they must walk quickly  to the bell. The first to ring the bell, gets to answer first. If they get it wrong the other team gets a chance. Usually there is a prize for the winning team in the end. 

    My students are very competitive and enjoy any game where they can try to win. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Songs For The Classroom

            I use songs in my classroom to teach students as well as to motivate students. Below are some great parody songs that my students enjoy and know all the words to.

Teach Me How To Study 

Motivational Song

Scholar Ladies (Get An A On It)
I hope you enjoy! If you have any videos you enjoy, please share! 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Great Song to Teach Elements of Literature

My students enjoy music and learn the lyrics to many different songs. While searching Youtube for a while, I found the song below. The lyrics are very catchy, and students eat it up. They now know their elements of literature, as well as examples of each.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Welcome New Bloggers via Teaching Blog Addicts

     The blog Teaching Blog Addicts has provided a great opportunity for new bloggers like myself. 

        "For the veterans and blog-stalkers alike, check out these newbies and show them some love! Leave a comment or follow if you wish. Remember what it felt like to get your first comment?" Teaching Blog Addicts

          I am looking forward to seeing all the other new bloggers out there. I have learned so much in the last couple of weeks and are looking forward to learning more. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Take a Look At My Pinterest!

         I came across the pinterest website over Christmas break. I now have the pin it button on my search engine, the app on my IPhone and Ipad. I would now say that I am addicted. I have found so many ideas on this website for my classroom. I want to provide the links to boards that I am updating on a daily basis'.

Free Printable
Classroom Ideas
Writing Ideas
Anchor Charts

Hope you find these helpful! If you have any boards you would like to share, I would enjoy exploring them. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Time To Link Up About Newsletters

           I have enjoyed the linking that has been going on in teacher blog land. As I was typing my  newsletters for my kiddos I thought I would love to see what other teachers newsletters look like.

Linking Directions: 

    1.  Right click and save the button above to put in your post.
    2. Tell us about your newsletter or better yet show us your newsletter.
    3. Come back to my blog and link up.
    Visit the other links to see other's newsletters.
Click on the link to download example newsletter.
          I am super excited to see everyone's newsletters. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'll Show You Mine!

         While blog hoping this afternoon I came across Mrs. Bainbridge's blog. She is sharing her lesson plans with everyone and has encouraged others to share as well. I am a check list kind of gal, so my lesson plans follow that layout. I also print my lesson plans and keep them in a three ringer binder, as well as turn them into the office each Monday. Take a look at my plans:

Click on picture to see lesson plans! 

        Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Link Up for a Day In My Shoes!

It's been so fun to read about everyone's daily schedules! So I thought I would link up with Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher to tell you what my typical day looks like 

5:30 Get up and get ready for school

6:20 Leave the house for school

6:40 Arrive at school and prepare for before school tutoring

6:55 Go get before school students from the gym and begin tutoring

7:45 Dismiss before school students and welcome homeroom students to class for roll and announcements

7:55 Dismiss homeroom for 1st period of 6th grade reading/spelling

9:25 Dismiss 1st period 

9:30 Welcome 2nd period of 6th grade reading/spelling

10:30 Take 2nd period to P.E or Life Skills

11:00 Welcome 2nd period back

11:25 Dismiss 2nd period

11:30 Welcome 3rd period of 5th grade reading/spelling

12:00 Take 3rd period to lunch

12:30 Welcome 3rd period back from lunch

1:25 Dismiss 3rd period

1:30 Welcome 4th period of 5th grade reading/spelling

2:55 Dismiss 4th period to snack and lockers

2:55-3:15 Work with late bus riders on homework 

3:15-4:30 Work as volunteer after school tutor

4:30-5:30 Get classroom ready for next day

5:30 Head to the house (well this is the time I aim for, but it does not always happen) (Especially when I have parent involvement meetings, ball game duty, or other activities to do or prepare for)

*I also have thirty minutes of computer lab time for each class period, each week. 1st period goes on Monday, 2nd period goes on Tuesday and so on. 2nd period has library on Mondays too, so we lose thirty minutes of class time. 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Everyone has the Right Answer!

    Each class period begins with the reading of the agenda and roll call theme. Students have the opportunity to answer the roll call theme as roll is called instead of saying here students answer the roll call questions. If the student does not want to share they say "pass".  Many teachers have forgone roll call to save time. Although a roll call theme can be used to show your students you care about them, as well as find out new and interesting things about your students. My students look forward to the roll call theme and suggestion new roll call themes each day. I have listed some below to get you started. I am always looking for new questions to ask my students, so please share any ideas you may have.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • If you could have any super power what would it be? 
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  • Do you want to move when you grow up or stay in ________?
  • If you could meet anyone who would that be? 
  • If you could go anywhere where would that be? 
  • What college do you want to go to? 
  • Where were you born? 
  • What is/was your favorite cartoon?
  • What color is your toothbrush?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • What is your favorite candy bar? 
  • How many states have you visited?
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Choice Boards Freebies

      As a fifth and sixth grade teacher I am always looking for ways to get my student active in their learning. We have been using choice boards this year and they love it. A choice board offers students a way to make decisions about what they will do in order to meet class requirements.  A choice board could be for a single 
lesson, a week-long lesson, or even a month-long period of study. They also allow the teacher to work with small groups while students are practicing skills. 

      Free examples can be seen on my Reading Street Resources page. I will be creating more tic-tac-toe boards as the year goes on, so be sure to come by and borrow as much as you need. Below are some great sites with more examples and information:


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Enter To Win a Computer Lab

Discovery Education and CDW Government (CDW-G) have launched the Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes to give schools a chance to acquire new technology for their district.
Three grand prize winners will receive a package of new technology valued at $45,000. Now in its 10th year, the contest will award a total of $200,000 in prizes.
Grand prize winners will receive:
  • $5,000 from a digital media grant through Discovery Education;
  • 20 notebook or tablet computers from HPLenovo, or Toshiba;
  • Three wireless access points from Cisco;
  • One mobile cart from Ergotron;
  • One interactive whiteboard from PolyVision;
  • 24 student response devices from Qwizdom;
  • One document camera from Aver; and
  • One multifunction printer from HP.

The contest is open to all K-12 schools both public and private. School employees can enter their school once per day at the contest Web site now until May 3. Entries can also be made viaTwitter.
Schools can also submit a 30-second video about how they would spread the word about the contest in order to win a Kindle Fire and for a chance to be featured on Facebook. Written essays about how the school is promoting the contest and how they would use the technology may also be submitted.
Selected videos will be posted on the contest's Facebook page, and entrants will be eligible for additional prizes through a separate drawing.
Contest winners will be announced this summer.
Contest information and rules are available at  Information is also available at the Win a Wireless Lab Facebook page.
For more information about the contest sponsors, visit and the Discovery Education web site at


Monday, January 9, 2012

Painting With Words Bulletin Board

I am addicted to pin-interest and spend too much time searching the site.  However, I found a great idea for a bulletin board.

We are working on using vivid words in our writing. To encourage the use of vivid words, we created a class bulletin board with suggested words to use in writing. The difficultly of the words increases as the color darkens. Students also practiced their thesaurus skills.

I could not find the pin for this idea. When I do I will update the post.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Class Pictures

Small group area

The back of the room & word wall. 

The class library! 

The view from the front door.

View from the back of the room.

Student supplies and menu folders

View of the front of the room.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the room! I will be posting about my bulletin boards in the next few days. 


Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Cheap Pocket Chart Stand

          Teaching is an expensive love of mine, so I love finding cheap alternatives to tools. Pocket charts are a teachers best friend, but pocket chart stands can be expensive. Instead of buying a pocket chart stand purchase a garment rack. Most big stores have garment racks for about twelve dollars. The rail holds the pockets with book rings and there is a bottom rack can hold materials as well. It also breaks down to be stored when not needed. 

An example of an garment rack. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beach Ball Fun in the Classroom

        Teachers are always looking for fun ways to review skills in the classroom. At the end of each summer many stores have a great sale on beach fun items. I stock up on cheap blow up beach balls; which I get for around .10¢ to .25¢ each. I then write on the beach ball with a permanent marker. For example I have a simile/metaphor practice ball . I wrote various similes and metaphors all over the ball. To play students stand in a circle. The rules are: 

  • You must call the person's name before you throw the ball to them. 
  • The only person allowed to talk in the circle is the person holding the ball. (expect the teacher of course!)
  • When you catch the ball whatever statement your right hand lands on you read to the group. Then you explain whether it is a simile or metaphor. Then explain why it is a simile or metaphor. 
    The game can be played indoors or outdoors. My students love, love this review game. It is also cheap to create and easy to store when you let the air out. Below is a list of skills I have reviewed with this game, but the potential is limitless. 

  • metaphor/simile
  • fact/opinion
  • vocabulary 
  • reference sources
  • verbs/nouns
  • prefixes/suffixes 
  • point of view
  • types of conflict
  • persuasive techniques


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Love Sticky Notes

       One item I could not live without in my classroom are sticky notes. Below are some great ways to use sticky notes in your classroom.

  1. When students are working independently, and I am with a small group; if students have a need they will write what they need on a sticky note and leave it in my sticky note bucket. This has helped in various ways: students do not interrupt the small groups, students have the connection they need with me when I am not available, and some students that would not verbally tell you they need something will write it on a sticky note. 
  2. It is a great exit ticket for feedback. No need to make copies of exit tickets. Post the question on the board and students can leave the answer stuck to the door as they leave. 
  3. It is an excellent use for a parking lot. Students often have questions that do not have anything to do with what we are doing. Students know if they have a question, comment, or story they can write a short note on a sticky note and put it in the parking lot (a bucket). At the end of the class, we check the parking lot. Students also know if it's a private matter to include that and it will stay between us.

          Of course, the ideas above require discussion and practice. As a class, we discuss questions/comments that should be written down and questions they already know the answer to. For example, my pencil is broken. We also discuss when they can write their notes and when they can turn them in. The students catch on quickly. A great site with lesson plans and tips on using sticky notes in your classroom is Post-it for teachers.  Please share any sticky note ideas that you may have.